Community Leaders participating at the Inclusion Training
Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, a non-governmental organization in the Niger Delta, in conjunction with Oxfam Nigeria, organized a training program on leadership, gender and Social Inclusion with special focus on Community Development Committees (CDCs) from selected communities in Delta, Imo and Rivers states.
In general, it was observed that:
- The CDC leaders lack capacity and that women visibly are absent in the structure of the community development structures.
- That there is gap in the relationship between the CDC leadership and the traditional council as well as members of most communities.
- Participants also observed that development is poor in the communities, while the CDC leadership does not have development work plans to guide their activities.
- That there is a dearth of data and documentation at the community level.
- That there is a big gap between government officials and community members thereby obstructing effective needs assessment and failing to address of community needs and overall development.
To address some of the above observed gaps participants recommended as follows:
- That henceforth, communities should include women in the CDC, Council of Chiefs, Youth councils and other governance bodies in the community.
- That community governance structures should engage in the training and retraining of community members and leaders in order to build their capacity.
- That communities should develop and work towards the development and implementation of a strategic work plan to enhance development in their domain.
- That communities institute documentation and data gathering on groups, issues, and other activities in their community for proper records and follow-up.
- That for cohesion and successful leadership, there should be closer and smoother relation interplay between the traditional councils and the CDCs, as well as government bodies and other agencies operating in the area.
- That there should be a strong communication system in place using the traditional media and the new/social media to propel transformational development.
- That community leaders should identify and groom promising youths for future leadership.
- That communities should consciously begin a documentation system for effective reference and guide for successors and to aid the reduction of incidents that trigger conflicts.
The communique was signed by Prince Umunna Anayo, Chidi Ibe, Chief Josephine Ogoba, Edith Odafe, ThankGod Igonewari, Kukpoye Mark, January Igoma, Friday Koko, Henry Ushie and Pius Dukor.